Monday, June 6, 2011

Storage Tips for Produce

The best way to keep your vegetables fresh and crisp is to put them in a sealable bag or container with a damp paper towel in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator. This is especially useful for vegetables with leaves (such as lettuce, kale, bok choi), which are most fragile. If you leave them unprotected the circulating air in the refrigerator will cause them to wilt and desiccate.
Root vegetables (such as turnips and radishes) can withstand the desiccation of a refrigerator much better than leafy vegetables, but protecting them with a plastic bag or container will keep them fresh even longer.
The best way to keep your herbs fresh is in a small cup of water, also in the refrigerator. If this seems too risky for spills, you can keep the cup of water on the counter, as long as it is not too hot in your kitchen. Ideally, you want the stems in the water, but not the leaves of your herb bunch. If the water cup is all together too much of a hassle, you can also store them in a sealable bag or container with a damp paper towel in your refrigerator.
If you know you won’t get to your root crops for a while, it is best to remove their leafy tops. Even though the plant is out of the ground, the leaves can still draw nutrients out of the roots, so cutting off the leaves will ensure your roots retain as much of their nutrients as possible. Many root tops are edible, so don’t throw them out! For example, you can separate turnips from their tops, and use them both when you are ready.

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